Feeling daunted by the thought of quitting smoking? You’re not alone. Team up with a smoking cessation coach and win the fight.
It’s no secret that smoking is terrible for your health and the health of those around you. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing scary anti-smoking public service announcements, or read a newspaper without finding new statistics on the damage smoking does. There are more smoking cessation methods available now than ever before. And yet – people still smoke.
This discrepancy is not lost on Robert Knotts, who has succeeded in quitting smoking with the help of a Wellworks For You smoking cessation coach. “All you have to do is pay attention,” he says. “If you watch television, or listen to the radio, there are all types of media out there that are sending a red flag. The entire world knows, we all know that this is not something that is good for us, yet we are willing to pay someone to hurt us. And it basically makes no sense. So when you think about it in that way, you realize that you are fueling someone’s wealth at your own risk – the risk of your life and your health overall, you know?”
Robert started smoking in 1976. “I joined the Armed Forces, and it was kind of the thing to do. Even the drill instructors kind of encouraged it. I thought it was cool to do since everybody else was doing it. That’s really where it started, and I’ve regretted it ever since.”
For him, the scare tactics widely used by the media are not effective, since the dangers are already so well known. “You have to want to fight. If the fire’s not in you, it’s going to be rough. I wanted to put up a fight, I just couldn’t figure out how.”
Like most people, Robert had tried quitting before. Research has shown that nicotine may be just as addictive as heroin, cocaine and alcohol, so it’s no surprise that quitting smoking almost always takes several attempts with several smoking cessation methods. Robert’s doctor prescribed him Chantix, a popular smoking cessation drug, but the side effects, which include persistent nausea, trouble sleeping, stomach pain, headaches, and more, were too much. “I just couldn’t handle that,” he recalls, “I just couldn’t do it, so I gave that up, and then of course, digressed backwards.”
He started smoking again, and tried quitting again. “I went towards the patch, I tried that several times, but not for long. I have sensitive skin, so I couldn’t deal with that either. I tried the gum, but really, it boiled down to a mental state for me.”
Robert had realized that all the medication and patches in the world weren’t going to help him quit unless he got himself in the mindset to quit. “I wanted to succeed, that’s what it came down to.”
This is when he started working with a smoking cessation coach from Wellworks For You, and it made all the difference. “She spoke to me from an encouraging perspective, not a condemning one. We already know smoking is bad, we don’t need to be condemned. It’s just a habit, and all you need is someone to talk to you and encourage you, and you can overcome it. She had a lot of enthusiasm and support for me, which I really needed, because I’ll be honest with you, I was a little worried. This stuff is powerful, it is controlling, and I don’t know the chemical makeup, but it is a powerful drug, and unless you have someone to help you understand that you can overcome it, you’re kind of struggling on your own.”
He keeps an empty pack of cigarettes on the counter as a reminder, a little monument to the fact that his days as a smoker are over. “Every day on my way out the door, I would look at it, and I thought to myself, ‘I will not fail.’ And I haven’t failed since.”
His quitting smoking success hasn’t been completely without its challenges. For Robert, changing his morning routine was the biggest thing to overcome. “I would get coffee, and I would smoke. It was a combination of the two – one without the other didn’t work.” He recognizes his triggers now – lunch breaks, being stuck in traffic, relaxing at home after dinner – and finds ways to ignore them, like reading, doing yard work to keep his hands busy, or more frequently, simply saying “no” to his cravings. Robert can’t stand the smell of cigarettes now, “It smells terrible! I literally get nauseous from the smell.”
“Another thing that bothered me… I did the math, on what a pack of cigarettes costs.” Robert, who lives in North Carolina, would pay an average of $5.50 a pack, though cigarettes cost much more in some places. When he realized how much money he’d been giving to the tobacco industry, it infuriated him. “I’m giving these people money to help me get sick, and when I looked at it like that, I thought, ‘Man, those are brand new tires for my truck!’” He’s going to get those tires when he hits the one year mark this September, and maybe even take his wife on a little beach vacation. He’s right to be upset; as if the negative health impact wasn’t enough, smoking is also an expensive habit! With this savings calculator, you can find out how much money quitting will save you. You might be amazed.
His wife has been concerned about his smoking for a long time, and Robert was excited to spring the news on her at his six month quit mark, but she beat him to it. She’d picked up on the fact that he was no longer going outside to smoke and that his clothing no longer carried the odor. She didn’t say anything at first because “she didn’t want to blow it for me,” Robert says, laughing. “But she’s so happy. She said my skin glows. I sleep better, I concentrate better. My clothes and my car don’t smell, everything is fresh. It’s like a rebirth. I feel 100% better. It’s wonderful to be free.”
If you are wondering how to quit smoking, or would like some information on the smoking cessation methods available to you, please contact Wellworks For You today. Speak with a smoking cessation coach and start on the road to victory, just like Robert.